Hubs, MTSA's, Anchors and Urban Growth Centres and a bylaw that brought much of it to a halt.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 28th, 2019



There are mobility hubs

There are anchor hubs

There are MTSA’s – Major Transit Station Areas

There are urban growth centers.

They are all tied together but not all that well understood.

Transit terminal - John Street

We know it as the bus terminal – the bureaucrats call it an Anchor Hub; a developer saw it as a great stroke of luck.


A bus terminal made the height of this development possible.

One of them, the Anchor hub that had been proposed for what most people know as the bus terminal on John Street, put the city in a position where they could not deny a developer the right to put up a building – which really screwed up the plans the city had for property on Lakeshore Road close to where it meets up with Old Lakeshore Road. The developer used the existence of an Anchor hub as justification for the high rise.

The Anchor hub is basically a small bus depot that at one point was to be torn down.

Paradigm -3 from front

Three of the five towers that make up the Paradigm development on the north side of Fairview right next to the GO Station.

The Mobility Hubs are clustered around the GO stations where the developers have bought up as much of the and as possible. The Molinaro Group was ahead of the development crowd when they broke ground for the Paradigm development – five towers snuggled up beside the Burlington GO station.

Gailbraith Station west + cranes

Adi Developments Station West in the early development stage. Councillor Kelvin Galbraith has a number of major developments taking place in the western end of the ward that will increase GO train traffic.

The Aldershot GO station area has a very large two stage ADI development underway.

Nothing in the works yet for the Mobility hub that will be part of the Appleby GO station.

There isn’t all that much controversy around the Mobility hubs – although Dr. Shie would like to see the eastern edge of the Burlington GO hub moved to the east – to the other side of Guelph line so that it includes the property at Guelph and Harvester Road.

Urban growth centre

The boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre that the province required every municipality to have. Many now believe that the location chosen and the boundaries put in place need to be changed.

The Urban Growth Centre is something the city had to create. That was a provincial requirement. The city had to have one – but it had some influence on where it would be located and what the boundaries are. The current UGC boundary is a little too far to the south for many people.

It was created in 2006 – many think both the location and the boundary lines were a mistake. Members of the current council have come to believe that the location of the current UGC can be moved and the boundary changed.

You had to have one but you get to determine where it will be located.

The Anchor isn’t a gotta have. The story we got from Councillor Lisa Kearns is that the city will get rid of the Anchor Hub (bus station) just as soon as the Interim Control Bylaw is lifted – which is expected to happen in March of 2020.

McKenna at the door

Burlington MPP Jane McKenna stuck her head in the door, didn’t like the look of the meeting and left.

Getting the location and boundary of the Urban Growth Centre is not as easy. Kearns told the Gazette that the members of the provincial government: Jane McKenna, Burlington and ‎Effie Triantafilopoulos, Oakville North Burlington will be drawn into the discussions.

‎Triantafilopoulos understands the complexity of the issue and is for the most part approachable and works at having good, strong working relationships with her peers.

Many residents have not had the same experience with McKenna.

It will be interesting to see how this work out. We weren’t able to get much in the way of a sense as to how long this will take from Councillor Kearns.

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2 comments to Hubs, MTSA’s, Anchors and Urban Growth Centres and a bylaw that brought much of it to a halt.

  • Judy christie

    So, do any of the regional people live in Burlington? That little bus depot on John is a mobility hub? Burlington is not a huge place lite Toronto or Mississauga. Please be realistic about how much high or low buildings it can accomodate!

  • Penny Hersh

    Interesting that finally this new council will be approaching the Province about moving the Downtown Urban Growth Centre. This along with un designating the John Street mobility/anchor has been a factor that was known way before the last election campaign started.

    The inaugural meeting of this new council was December 3rd 2018. For almost a year this council did nothing. Residents sent emails asking about this for months, with no response. What a waste of valuable time. Time when new development applications were being presented to the City and then appealed to LPAT.

    The Interim Control By-Law seems not to have only paused development applications but also seems to have prevented council from moving forward on this important issue.

    I think the chickens have come home to roost now that it has become apparent that some campaign promises are not attainable.

    I have to wonder if it is too little, too late. Guess time will tell.